What is Mathematics Teacher Noticing?

Mathematics teacher noticing, a form of professional vision (Goodwin, 1994), can be conceptualized in three different ways (Jacobs et al., 2010; Miller, 2011; Sherin & van Es, 2009): noticing as (1) focusing on what teachers attend to;

  • (2) focusing on teachers’ interpretation about what they selectively attend to; and
  • (3) combination of three actions such as attending to, interpreting, and responding to student thinking. In this paper, we adopt the third perspective of noticing, which consists of attending to noteworthy events, interpreting these events, and making instructional decisions based on interpretations of the notable events (Jacobs et al., 2010).

To characterize teacher noticing, two main dimensions of teacher noticing are examined: what teachers notice and how teachers notice (Sherin & van Es, 2009; van Es, 2011). The first dimension describes both who (e.g. whole class, student group, individual student, and the teacher) teachers focus on, and which topics or issues (e.g. pedagogical strategies, behaviour, mathematical thinking, and classroom climate) they identify. The second dimension captures how teachers analyse what they notice in terms of analytic stances (e.g. descriptive, interpretive, and evaluative) and the depth of analysis (e.g. whether to provide few details or ground their comments in evidence) when they make their instructional decisions. These two dimensions are also applicable for researchers seeking to examine teacher noticing during the planning, teaching, and reviewing phases of Lesson Study. Even though van Es developed the framework for learning to notice student mathematical thinking, for our study, the use of her framework is extended to investigate what and how teachers notice during the whole Lesson Study processes (see Table 1).

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